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Harmonic Time-Bind Ritual Symphony

by Ben Kidwell and Maevele Straw

Psychedelic
2016

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Number of Reviews: 1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A sprawling game about blurring reality and game with a 70s feel, April 9, 2016
by MathBrush
Related reviews: Spring Thing 2016
This game feels like what I would imagine the 70's would feel like during summer-long drug trip. However, it is set in 2013 and based on a real manic episode one of the authors experienced, during which he thought he was in an interactive fiction game (according to the blurb).

This game belongs to the relatively rare genre of games where you explore a big city and story events have to be searched for one at a time, while the rest of the city serves as decoration. Nick Montfort has done this multiple times (Book and Volume, Winchester's Nightmare) and Adam Cadre did this 3 times over in the branches of his game Narcolepsy. But the authors of this game have managed to avoid the crushing loneliness of Montfort's world as well as the frustration of Cadre's. They do this by filling the world with wonderful, descriptive things, packing in long text sequences and even song numbers downloadable from the author's website. They also do it by keeping the game simple. The first half of the game is just following instructions on where to go, and the second half has a great hint system. Both of these facets keep the game fast-paced and interesting.

The writing is trippy. Crystals, music, sex, co-ops, all give the feel of a hippie documentary. The main idea of the game is that the character has managed to bind reality and fiction together, so that he realizes he is in a game and the two start bleeding together.

The game doesn't have actual explicit sex, but it has several very sensual metaphors of sex, and implies sex at various times. Because I don't enjoy these types of scenes, I am unlikely to replay it.

The game took me about 1500 moves to get about 819/999 points (there are many optional points). It is the longest game of 2016 that I am aware of, and most likely longer than anything in 2015 (it has more text than Scroll Thief, I believe).